Business tips from the Ascentive team
When it comes to being a successful freelancer, the most important thing you need to do is to inspire trust in your current and potential employers. Every interaction your have with employers can increase – or decrease – their trust in you. If you’re not careful, something as seemingly minor as taking too long to respond to an email can make you appear less dependable to an employer.
Being a freelancer who is responsive, pleasant, engaged, and meets expectations, is the key to acquiring more (and better paying) work. So how does one go about becoming a trustworthy freelancer? Start by following these principles:
Make Great First Impressions
Your first communications with potential employers are crucial in creating a high level of trust. Make every effort to appear intelligent, eager and on time. Always reread your email drafts aloud and use a spell-checker before you send them off. If you’re not communicating in your native language, make the extra effort to have a friend proofread your communications.
Don’t Lie about your Skillset
Always be honest about your skillset. If you disappoint your employer when called upon to use your stated skills, you’ll never get a chance to demonstrate your real value. This is especially important when it comes to language skills.
Know the Big Picture
Always learn an employer’s business and their specific goals. Employers trust freelancers who care about the big picture and understand their priorities.
Make your Deadlines
Without a doubt, there’s nothing’s more important than meeting your deadlines. In addition to hitting your dates, always be available for communication on the agreed days and times, and deliver the quality that you promised.
Document your Processes
Always document your process and record why you completed a task a certain way. This explains to your employer why you determined that process A was better than B and reinforces their trust in you.
Save your Employer Money
Anything you do that brings your contract work in under budget will help establish your integrity and your respect for the employer’s resources. That isn’t to say you should lower your own cost so much you can’t actually make a living; but if you have to make a choice that has a financial impact on your employer, try to choose the option that’s the least expensive.
Admit your mistakes and fix them
In the event that you’ve turned in your work and the employer isn’t happy, submit a second pass. Better yet, build a second pass into your delivery schedule on all major projects.
Always check in with a quick email after you’ve delivered your work. This shows that you’re concerned with client satisfaction and will encourage them to hire you in the future.